Words, Weights, Whatever

Saturday, November 01, 2003


NaNoWriMo update:
Nearly eight hours of writing. Wordcount: 3965 words. That's over 15 pages at 250 words per page.
My eyes feel like broiled onions.


NaNoWriMo update
Haven't started so far. Nap knocked me for a loop. I'll probably hit the laptop keyboard around 1400 Pacific time. But I found an important outline on my desktop and this interesting tool in the Reaching 50,000 forum:


Good news this week....

I almost forgot to post:

Designer drug halts organ rejection

A "designer" drug to stop the body rejecting organ transplants - without the major side-effects associated with existing drugs - has shown promise in mice and monkeys.

I've been fortunate enough that I and no one (that I know of) has needed a transplant. But for those who do or know some one who does or will, the above news should be interesting.

It begins....

NaNoWriMo has begun! I plan to start this morning around 1000 PST.

Last night (Friday) I logged on chat over at Forward Motion. I think there were over ten folks in there, most scribbling away, occasionally "shouting" out their wordcount. Several of us, yours truly, were encouraging them. It's exciting to see such progress and unity for (essentially) a voluntary event.

Friday, October 31, 2003

History is not boring....

Thanx, Greg!

> The next time you're washing your hands and
> complain because the water
> temperature isn't just how you like it, think
> about how things used to be.
> Here are some facts about the 1500s:
> Most people got married in June because they
> took their yearly bath in May
> and still smelled pretty good by June.
> However, they were starting to smell
> so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide
> the body odor. Hence the
> custom today of carrying a bouquet when
> getting married.
> Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot
> water. The man of the house
> had the privilege of the nice clean water,
> then all the other sons and men,
> then the women, and finally the children --
> last of all the babies. By
> then the water was so dirty you could actually
> lose someone in it. Hence the saying,
> "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
> Houses had thatched roofs (thick straw piled
> high), with no wood underneath. It was the only
> place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs,
> cats and other small animals (mice, bugs)
> lived in the roof. When it rained
> it became slippery and sometimes the animals
> would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the
> saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
> There was nothing to stop things from falling
> into the house, which posed a
> real problem in the bedroom where bugs and
> other droppings could really
> mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with
> big posts and a sheet hung
> over the top afforded some protection. That's
> how canopy beds came into existence.
> The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had
> something other than dirt. Hence
> the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate
> floors that would get
> slippery in the winter when wet, so they
> spread thresh (straw)on the floor
> to help keep their footing. As the winter wore
> on, they kept adding more
> thresh until when you opened the door it would
> all start slipping outside.
> A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway.
> Hence the saying a "threshold."
> In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen
> with a big kettle that always
> hung over the fire. Every day they lit the
> fire and added things to the
> pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not
> get much meat. They would eat
> the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the
> pot to get cold overnight and
> then start over the next day. Sometimes the
> stew had food in it that had
> been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme,
> "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold,
> peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
> Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made
> them feel quite special.
> When visitors came over, they would hang up their
> bacon to show off. It was a
> sign of wealth that a man could "bring home
> the bacon." They would cut off
> a little to share with guests and would all
> sit around and "chew the fat."
> Those with money had plates made of pewter.
> Food with high acid content
> caused some of the lead to leach onto the
> food, causing lead poisoning and
> death. This happened most often with tomatoes,
> so for the next 400 years
> or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
> Bread was divided according to status. Workers
> got the burnt bottom of the
> loaf, the family got the middle, and guests
> got the top, or "upper crust."
> Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
> The combination would
> sometimes knock them out for a couple of days.
> Someone walking along the road would
> take them for dead and prepare them for
> burial. They were laid out on the
> kitchen table for a couple of days and the
> family would gather around and
> eat and drink and wait and see if they would
> wake up. Hence the custom of
> holding a "wake."
> England is old and small and the local folks
> started running out of places
> to bury people. So they would dig up coffins
> and would take the bones to a
> "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When
> reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25
> coffins were found to have scratch marks on
> the inside and they realized
> they had been burying people alive. So they
> thought they would tie a
> String on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through
> the coffin and up through the
> ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would
> have to sit out in the graveyard
> all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen
> for the bell; thus, someone
> could be "saved by the bell" or was considered
> a "dead ringer."
> And that's the truth...... Now, whoever said
> that History was boring ! !
> Educate someone...Share these facts with a friend...

Here's the carrot....

Last night I made an offer to my spouse. I said that, if I make the NaNoWriMo goal, I could get wi-fi from T-Mobile for my laptop. I'm spend virtually all my free time at Starbucks anyway.

The answer? A semi-sleepy, "yes."


Note: I pretty much knew the answer. Also, we've talked about wi-fi for some time especially for the business. Completing NaNoWriMo adds to the YES column.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Wordcount whews!

After workout (cardio only), I drove to the coffeeshop to put in a little writing. I warmed up in my journal and opened a spreadsheet. Over an hour later I gawked at the wordcount goals to achieve NaNo of 50k words. (Remember that I don't write daily.)

I'm going to be very busy this month.

Well this looks interesting....

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer's Weekly Calendar and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer's Weekly Planner

I'm a planner. I love looking at personal planners. This includes electronic versions as well. When PDAs were first released, I agonized for a couple of years before purchasing my current one. While I still love it (and have thought of upgrading to newer and less expensive models), I still check out the traditional pen-and-paper ones. Especially of interest to me are the specialized ones like fitness.

I'll review the one above in more depth later.

Afternoon so far....

Able to finally have lunch today. Yeah! I was starving despite snacking throughout the morning.

Lunched at Romanos Macaroni Grill. Ate 3/4 quarters of the appetizer bread (usually only eat half). Devoured the entree (sausage and pepper classico).

Reviewed bills. Argh! I really need to keep on top of them and other, more time-sensitive, materials. Hopefully there won't be any major probs.

Cute. My boss and co-workers played a prank on me. Now we've got to play a prank on the boss. Hehe :-)

And to prove my point....

Someone beat me to the punch. Thanks!

Younger Kids See More TV, But Debate Rages on Effects

I believe this issue has been on-going since television was introduced to the populace and don't see it ever really ending.

Talk about blowing things out of proportion....

Is it me, or is the media that starved for news?

Harry Potter Books Giving Kids Headaches?

I can, off the top of my head, can come up with over a dozen more interesting articles on children's health than this farce (which even the pediatrician said was a joke.)

Good morning!

A review of the latest version of an old rpg game: Gamma World Player’s Handbook.

I played the first release of Gamma World (not its progenitor, Metamorphis Alpha) back in high school. I remember how lethal the game was to characters. Otherwise, I didn't find it that interesting. I did read, however, the later incarnations with the exception of the one using the Alternity rules.

If I see this latest version (D20) in the used books bin, I'll give it a look.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Gotta try something a little different today....

Completed a lot of my tasks. Deposited R.'s check (where I received even more info on our equity line of credit request); bought groceries (and how!) over at State Bros.; and--at last!--read a chapter in a fiction book. Talking with my friends Tuesday reminded me how far behind I was in reading.

Spoke with Mom. She's fine; just a little tired. She and Dad are bowling again. Two leagues. Eek! Well, at least they're doing some exercise.

This is interesting....

The Big Bang was more of a hum

The Big Bang wasn't a bang.

A sound simulation of the beginning of the universe shows that it was more of a throb, or a hum, with a bit of a whirl and a rhythmic "whoomp" every now and again.

Day so far....

Employee, friend, personal, sibling:

Work's been quiet. Good. Have had chances to practice what I've been learning (and documenting) over the past few months.

I've heard back from friends, family, and ex-co-workers whom I knew lived in the fiery areas. All are fine. One family friend, the V.'s, were ready to flee as the fires swept down into their area (Simi Valley). The firefighters were finally able to contain the blaze FIVE houses from their residence. Whew!

Good morning!

Called this morn around 0100. Got to mom's safely and finally. Whew! :-)

Personal, entrepreneur:
Didn't have a chance to get to the post office yesterday. Will do this morning.

And speaking of errands....

Some foodshopping tonight. Buy condolence card for a family member. Buy treats for this Friday. Deposit R.'s paycheck.

I hope to do some writing as well. Call family members and a bud to see how they're all doing. Whew! Busy.

Interesting news
Shift in wind spares some, forces others to flee blaze
Santa Anas wane, giving vrews an edge against inferno

Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County -- Hot, dry Santa Ana winds died down Tuesday, giving firefighters a desperately needed advantage in fighting blazes that have devoured more than half a million acres in Southern California.


Full-featured PC fits in pocket
A full-featured PC that is small enough to slip into a shirt pocket is being hailed by its makers as the world's first modular computer. The machine can perform as both a PC and a handheld computer, but it remains to be seen if consumers are willing to pay for such a hybrid device.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Fun evening....


Cardio at 18:30. Good, solid, class. Oh! Instructor will be teaching "how to become an instructor" courses starting in November. Unfortunately I can't make it. But she'll be teaching another course later that month at another gym and a later time. I can make it to that course. I may attend. I've thought of becoming an instructor for some time.

Visited friends at The Center. Had a good time discussing books. My friend Clark's willing to attend a booksigning next week. Thanks, Clark! Luv you :-)

Personal, sibling:
I sent e-mails to my sister, family friends, and ex-co-workers whom I thought may be in the fire zones. Hope they're alright.

Interesting news:

The universe is mostly mysterious.

Biggest map of Universe clinches dark energy
12:28 28 October 03
NewScientist.com news service

Astronomers have compiled the largest, most detailed map of the Universe so far and believe that it shows beyond doubt the presence of an all-pervading "dark energy" throughout the cosmos.


No hate in our neighborhood
Phelps Protest Outnumbered By Enraged Community

by Doug Windsor
365Gay.com Newscenter
New York Bureau

Posted: October 27, 2003 7:53 p.m. ET
(Mepham, New York) A handful of supporters of preacher Fred Phelps were vastly out numbed as they demonstrated in front of a Long Island high school, the center of a violent hazing incident.


Wildfire continues in SoCal
California Fires Kill 15, Threaten Valley

Associated Press Writer
October 28, 2003, 9:39 AM EST

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- With wind-driven flames threatening the densely populated San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, firefighters dug in Tuesday for another brutal day battling one of the most destructive and deadly wildfire outbreaks in California history.


Personal: This reminds me. Need to contact family friends and R.'s aunt and uncle in the area to see how they're doing.

Today's plan....

If I write today, it will be late tonight. Working out again in the evening followed by a visit to friends (see below).

Cardio in the evening. Can't in the afternoon since I have to run errands.

Busy today, especially in the morning....

Personal, entrepreneur:
Bills! Have to stop by the post office anyway.

Have to give parents a call.

Have to follow up with Kendall. Visiting friends (Greg and Clark) over at The Center. Oh! And contact Rob and Scott about getting together for either lunch or dinner. Yikes!

Workout, weights off to a brisk start yesterday....

After workout, drove down to my favorite coffeeshop. Few people there all who were students. I set up on my second favorite spot and developed a tracking chart. Session went well: I turned the tracking chart into an outline and got as far as chapter four before calling it a night.

Cardio. So glad I attended. Pace was a bit fast and off but I worked up a sweat. At one point I had to stop; my insides hurt too much. But the brief few minutes helped and I finished the rest of the workout without stopping.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Day so far....

Currently scheduled for tonight around 2100.

None this afternoon. Cardio tonight instead.


Bills. Ugh. Enough said. And an hour lunch is definitly not long enough to pay bills. Maybe tonight?

Well, I'm still employed. Feedback on the handbook was, overall, positive. And I don't feel as tense about the job as I did when I left on vacation a couple of weeks ago.

Also not on-call for the rest of the week. However, that means two weeks of on-call in November. No big.

Good news and bad news:

Good: Not on-call for the week. Yeah! Though it really sucks we didn't find out until this morning. All that prep work this morning down the drain.

Bad: The Ventura fire is within two miles of R.'s workplace. Yikes! I honestly hope they close the clinic for the rest of the week.

Week so far

Gonna try a slightly different format starting today. This blogger is called "Words, Weights, Whatever".

Gonna start writing again as I prep up for NaNoWriMo starting this Saturday.

Ms Viehl posted an interesting proposition. I'm going to give is some consideration.

Start my workouts again.

R.'s on-call all week and will have to stay at mother's residence in the San Fernando Valley. I'll drive up and visit over the weekend. Concerned, obviously, due to the Ventura fires up there.

Return to work today. Ugh. More on that issue later.

Sibling said Mom hasn't heard from me in a while. I'll give a call tonight.

Gotta plan this week and next week's schedule. Oh! Incorporate ideas of future vacations into my PDA. Can't believe there are so many Halloween-related events in October. We've discussed increased vacation in the month to two weeks. I can see each day to be filled. Cool!

Bills to pay. Enough said.

Lots of stuff to mail out this week. Unfortunately, none make money. Sigh.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Fire, fire, everywhere

Personal, spouse:
Last day of vacation.

We drove down to San Diego to visit one of our favorite bookstores. We should have know when we saw the ash-filled clouds and smelled the cinder that there was another fire in the area. Needless to say, the store (and the surrounding complex) was closed. R. was severely disappointed.

We returned to O.C. in two hours. Lunch at the Irvine Spectrum. Nap at home, then anime for the rest of the evening. Overall, an...interesting...closure to our vacation.

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